Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Sewing Room!

My sewing room migrated from our fifth bedroom (each kid has his or her own room now, hurray!) to our front room.

This was Shawn's idea, but I was concerned that it needed to look nice since this is the first room you see upon entering our home.

We bought two cabinets from Ikea to organize my notions and fabrics. Unfortunately, we would have needed about 5 more to completely contain my fabric. The vast majority now lives in the basement and I'm on a major fabric diet!


I found that ironing board at a garage sale. I spray painted it red (it was a horribly rusted yellow), added new "feet" (pvc pipe caps from Home Depot), and recovered it. I LOVE it!

I also made those pillowcases from scraps and linen. The pillow forms are goose feather and also from IKEA. They are squishy and wonderful.


Here's a pic of the inside of the cabinets. My cutting table sits in between.


I adore my new sewing room! I love that it's on the main floor, with the kitchen just around the corner.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spring Fever Top!

I did it! I did it! I sewed and entered three tops for the Made by Rae Spring Top Sewalong!

This one is aptly named the Spring Fever Top. Why aptly? Is it because it's a chilly 43 degrees on May 9th and I am slightly bitter?


Is it because I'm super jealous that my brother and sister-in-law are in So Cal for the next two weeks doing nothing but snoozing by the pool and soaking up sunshine whilst I stare out the window at the endless, cold, cold rain?

Guess Again.

It's because I actually have spring fever. Except mine is called "Pneumonia".

And when my mother gets wind that I've been sewing and photo'ing and blogging when I am supposed to be RESTing... well. I better turn off the ringer.

But today is the entry deadline and I was not going to let a teeny weeny little lung infection stop me from entering this top. I've been literally dreaming (maybe it was a febrile siezure?) about this baby.

I don't generally look good in white (even my wedding dress had to be ivory. That is the only reason it wasn't white. I swear.). Yet white is such an iconic warm weather color. I have found that I can get away with white if there is a little somethin' somethin' to break up all the vast whiteness. I knew this lovely soft embroidered gauze would be perfect to sew up something summery.

I used Simplicity 4176. I omitted the pleats in the front and back. I also fully lined the bodice with white muslin since this fabric is fairly sheer. I added the channel and tie under the bodice as well. I stole the cute little silver beads on the ends of the ties from a purchased shirt that I don't wear often. I sewed my usual size 12 with no sizing alterations necessary. This is a nice pullover pattern for woven fabrics and it does not require a zipper. Yay!

I'm very happy with how this top turned out. I think it's my favorite! I'd also like to thank the pharmaceutical industry which made completing this challenge possible today. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Nautical Top - Spring Top Sewalong

Spring Top #2! This is from Simplicity 3692, a Built By You pattern. This one just went out of print (all the Built by You patterns were retired, did you know that???), but you might still find it in the pattern bins if you look soon.

I LOVE this pattern! It's for knits and is more then just a basic tee-shirt. This is my favorite type of top to wear and I haven't found many patterns for this style. I adore the 3/4 length sleeve and the flattering neckline. It's little hard to see in the pictures, but there is a slight gather at the bust line which gives the top a little more interest as well.

The pattern makes a dress or tunic with several sleeve options. It's a breeze to sew, especially if you have a serger and coverstich.

I used medium weight cotton knits (both interlocks, I believe). The solid navy was likely a JoAnn pick up and the navy and sky blue stripe came from Chez Ami.

I took great care to match the stripes and the top came out beautifully! Thanks to reviews from PatternReview.com, I knew to size down from my regular 12 to a 10. I did make the armholes a tad wider to compensate for the size down (bah. I have thick upper arms) and I also took a greater curve in the side seams to give it a little more shape. I think the resulting fit is fantastic and this is definitely something I will wear often.

Friday, April 29, 2011

{insert British accent} I'm not dead yet!

~Monty Python reference~

C'mon, SOMEBODY got it.

Long time no blog! Looking through my archives, there seems to be a definite pattern to my blogging. I disappear from November through April. Fingers too cold to type? Seasonal depression? I don't sew my perma-winter uniform of sweatshirts and jeans?

Anyway, the Made by Rae: Spring Top Sewalong, 2011 edition has roused me from my seasonal blog slumber. HOORAY!

This is my second year entering tops in Rae's sewalong. I have come a long way in the last year in my clothing sewing skills, so maybe I will squeak one into the semis? How cool would that be?

Without further ado, here is my first entry. Simplicity 3867. This is an out of print sew stylish pattern which I found on eBay last fall. It has a lot of great reviews on PatternReview.com.

My version is sewn with lightweight cotton swiss dot purchased from JoAnn last summer.

I cut a size 12 and the fit is perfect! I usually have problems with gaping in the back neckline, or armholes too high or too low, or slide off shoulder straps, but this one fits perfectly as drafted.

I did, however make a few pattern changes. I omitted the sash. I didn't think an over sized bow under my bosom was necessary. Hello 1992. I also omitted the pleating on the back.

The top zips up the back and if sew this again, I may try using an invisible zipper and moving it to a side seam. This would make an adorable dress!

The bodice is fully lined. I used natural tone muslin. The instructions were very good, there's no real surprises or tricky parts and it sews together quickly.

So there is entry #1! I've already sewn top #2, but photographing / blogging takes me just as long as the sewing. And it's really really cold (darn near snowing, as-a-matter-o-fact), so modeling these warm weather tops is both unbearably chilly and horribly depressing at the same time. Hopefully I can wear these tops sometime before July.